The Queensland Greens have welcomed the announcement from the Queensland Police that they are discontinuing the use of spit hoods in watch houses, following campaigns by First Nations and justice reform advocates, as well as calls from the Greens, to ban the devices in Queensland.
During Estimates Hearings in August, Greens MP Michael Berkman asked how many times spit hoods have been used in police watch houses since 2019, including on children, and called on the government to ban the use of spit hoods and restraint chairs, as other jurisdictions have done.
“Queensland Police deserve credit for scrapping these torture devices. The Government should follow through on the commitment by banning them in legislation.
“Despite the availability of clear alternatives like PPE, spit hoods have been used in prisons and watch houses, on children and adults, and disproportionately on First Nations people.
“There’s no good reason to put a bag over someone’s head, especially in watch houses where children as young as 10 are held in Queensland.
“The next step to meeting our human rights obligations is getting kids out of watch houses altogether and raising the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.”